Mondays with Morris

CLEMSON - Running backs coach Tony Elliott passed the word on to Chad Morris before kickoff on Saturday night.



Andre Ellington was ready to roll.

"Coach Elliott came up to me in pregame," Morris said on Monday. "He just looked at me in pregame and said, ‘Coach, [Ellington's] got it in his eyes. I've never seen him like this.

"I said, ‘We'll see.' We saw."

Ellington rushed for 228 yards on 25 touches and lead Clemson to a 26-19 win.

If Morris has to continue to give the ball to Ellington that often to keep winning, he'll do it.

"Whatever it takes for us to win, we're prepared to do it. He's prepared to do it," Morris said. "The thing that is encouraging, Andre is consistently in coach Elliott's ear, consistently in my ear. ‘Keep giving it to me. I'm good. Keep giving it to me.'

"And we kept giving it to him. That's what you do. You trust your guys. Obviously, his play justified that."

NEW HELMET RULE: Tajh Boyd finished second among Clemson rushers with 58 yards on the ground. Had it not been for the plays he was required to sit out for losing his helmet, he may have had more.

"There was a time when Tajh was saying, ‘My helmet was being pulled off, coach.' Unless it's a penalty called, he's got to come out," Morris said.

In the future, the Tigers' offensive coordinator said they'll be better prepared for the possibility of Boyd losing his helmet. Specifically, making sure Cole Stoudt is ready to step onto the field at the drop of a hat.

"I thought Cole did a great job," Morris said. "Not a good job, but a great job managing that critical situation for us."

DEEP THROWS: The hurry-up, no-huddle offense is supposed to have the threat of a vertical passing game. The longest pass play by Clemson was a 25-yard catch and run by DeAndre Hopkins.

Morris intended for it to be a part of the game plan against Auburn.

"We tried to. Every time we'd throw one, it would get called back for a penalty or something," he said. "They played a lot of Tampa 2 on us last week, so they were playing so deep on it. You have to take what they give you. We missed a couple."

A total of 14 "shots" were called.

"You saw how many converted. It had a lot to do with the way they were playing and the talent level they had with the rush ends they had and the scheme that he was running," Morris said. "He's got a very good scheme. It's challenging and difficult to understand, for us to pick up and see. They were going to take the deep ball away from us."

BALL STATE: Against Ball State this weekend, Morris expects to face a "very aggressive" style of defense.

"They like to bring a lot of pressure and like to give you a lot of front looks, a lot of movement. They move their front, stem their front, try to disguise their coverages," Morris said. "They've got some guys up front that play hard. It's an attacking style of defense."

Ball State gave up 26 points in an 11-point win against Eastern Michigan last Thursday night.

Clemson has opened as a 26.5 point favorite.

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